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  1. #1
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    Default The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Today I inspected a large and very nice new construction home. It is built on 3 levels with a bunch of windows. To be exact it has 48 single hung, tilt out Jeld Wen vinyl windows in it. If it was not for the windows I would have had only two items to write up on this home. No expansion tank for the WH and the hot cold reversed at the kitchen sink. All in all one of the better new homes I have seen in a few years.

    Now for the windows! It seems that the alarm installer drilled two holes (one on each side) into every single window in the home. The service rep at Jeld Wen could not stop laughing at the pictures. The only repair solution is to replace the windows. They said that the internal drain pan has been damaged and water will leak.

    Something tells me that the profit has gone out the window on this alarm job!

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    Scott Patterson, ACI
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  2. #2
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Did they drill the holes and then not use them?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Did they drill the holes and then not use them?
    Yep! They put in motion sensors and glass breakage detectors instead of contacts. They even drilled the windows on the 3rd floor that is a good 40' off the ground!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
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  4. #4
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    The alarm guy was crazy to not have patched them before someone saw them. Any patch would be better than a hole!


  5. #5
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    I not sure those holes are for window switches.
    Maybe, but just don't look right for alarm switches.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    I not sure those holes are for window switches.
    Maybe, but just don't look right for alarm switches.
    I've used some push-in magnetic switches that use a 1/2" - 5/8" hole.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    "I've used some push-in magnetic switches that use a 1/2" - 5/8" hole."

    I can't tell what size the holes are, but will guess at 1/2".

    I've never seen or heard of a 1/2" or 5/8" switch, maybe there is one.

    But why 2 holes in each window?
    Only one hole is needed.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    The drain plane is still in place. Once the holes are silicone there will no longer be a problem with the windows. To suggest that everyone of them needs to be replaced is insane and a costly mess no matter who may be paying for it. I believe it is totally unnecessary. What would make the window manufacturer think that the holes could not be plugged/sealed. If there were sensors in all the holes they would be siliconed in place as well ..... so?


  9. #9
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    "What would make the window manufacturer think that the holes could not be plugged/sealed. If there were sensors in all the holes they would be siliconed in place as well ..... so?"

    As a past Representative / Service Repair Inspector for a large window manufacturer, Recommendation for replacement is always for A) Warranty is voided... B) More$$$...
    Hence pay more money for new windows to keep warranty or lose warranty and we have no at fault for any issue ever with the window including seal failure, leaks, etc... It's a Racket as usual...


  10. #10
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    The drain plane is still in place. Once the holes are silicone there will no longer be a problem with the windows. To suggest that everyone of them needs to be replaced is insane and a costly mess no matter who may be paying for it. I believe it is totally unnecessary. What would make the window manufacturer think that the holes could not be plugged/sealed. If there were sensors in all the holes they would be siliconed in place as well ..... so?
    Nope.. On 5 windows I was able to stick my screwdriver into wood.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Vinyl windows typically have a double channel with the top layer functioning as a first line of defense and incorporating a weep system to the outside but the inner channel is the real water proof part of the frame. Once there is a hole in the inner channel there is no way to see nor repair the damage. Most also have a sticker that says "Do NOT drill holes here or it will void the warranty!"

    http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...s-windows.html

    Jim Luttrall
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    I read this post as I ws trying to investigate a fix for some leaking windows. We bought our home in December 2008. Home built in 2001. Some (not all) windows leaking from top during heavy, wind driven rains. We have seen in one case the water dripping down the alarm wire in exposed area in unfinished part of basement. Had the alarm company out since water leaked into alrm panel and shorted out system (alarms installed when home new) and he sealed the contact in the window but it still leaks. I have read the threads from 2008 also. What are some solutions?
    1-Do all the leaking windows need to be replaced?
    2-Can the windows be repaired by caulking both ends of the alarm hole? That would require ripping out dry wall to access "bottom" of hole. More costly than new windows?
    3-Not all leaking windows have alarm contact in sill. Some have contacts on side of windows inside. Our fear is how did the alarm installer drill to hide these wires?
    4- Can the windows be repaired by replacing the breached sill area only?
    5- Is the alarm company still liable?

    Any one with some suggesstions?


  13. #13
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    First, not all windows prohibit drilling holes in the bottom, only vinyl frame with double channel.
    Find out what brand and style window you have.
    Is there a warning sticker near where the holes were drilled?
    It sounds like you need a third party inspector to look at the job.
    Maybe a thermal image camera inspection could be used to isolate the leaks and problems.

    Jim Luttrall
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Janice Gross View Post
    I read this post as I ws trying to investigate a fix for some leaking windows. We bought our home in December 2008. Home built in 2001. Some (not all) windows leaking from top during heavy, wind driven rains. We have seen in one case the water dripping down the alarm wire in exposed area in unfinished part of basement. Had the alarm company out since water leaked into alrm panel and shorted out system (alarms installed when home new) and he sealed the contact in the window but it still leaks. I have read the threads from 2008 also. What are some solutions?
    1-Do all the leaking windows need to be replaced?
    2-Can the windows be repaired by caulking both ends of the alarm hole? That would require ripping out dry wall to access "bottom" of hole. More costly than new windows?
    3-Not all leaking windows have alarm contact in sill. Some have contacts on side of windows inside. Our fear is how did the alarm installer drill to hide these wires?
    4- Can the windows be repaired by replacing the breached sill area only?
    5- Is the alarm company still liable?

    Any one with some suggesstions?
    First off, find out why the windows are leaking.
    Is there rotted wood?
    If there is rotted wood, is it rotted because it's leaking or is it leaking because it's rotted?

    It's not likely that the alarm window switches are the cause of your problems.
    You state that some windows are leaking that have alarm switches on the side. Alarm switches on the sides would not be the source of leaking in these windows.
    What I find most often to be the cause of leaking windows in houses this age is rotted wood. The wood rots partly because of lack of regular painting, using finger jointed wood, and the window needs caulking.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Janice Gross View Post
    1-Do all the leaking windows need to be replaced?
    2-Can the windows be repaired by caulking both ends of the alarm hole? That would require ripping out dry wall to access "bottom" of hole. More costly than new windows?
    3-Not all leaking windows have alarm contact in sill. Some have contacts on side of windows inside. Our fear is how did the alarm installer drill to hide these wires?
    4- Can the windows be repaired by replacing the breached sill area only?
    5- Is the alarm company still liable?
    1- Probably not. If the window has a lot of rot, replace.
    2- No
    3- No answer
    4- Maybe, depends on where the leak started, and how badly it is rotted.
    5- Alarm company may not have been at fault. Even if at fault, so much time has pasted that it would be difficult to get them to do anything.

    4-

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    The happy driller seems to have applied a helical ridge on a cylinder to a Canis lupus familiaris.

    Repairing the window with caulk, really is not a long term solution and will carry no real warranty on the repair much less subsequent damage.
    Welding vinyl into the hole is the solution, not that it is practical.
    Any factory rep will automatically say that the damage can not be repaired, goes with the job.

    Forest had it right with "stupid is as stupid does". The question may be how much is the happy driller responsible for. Full replacement cost of the windows or a depreciated value of the window.



  17. #17
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    The question may be how much is the happy driller responsible for. Full replacement cost of the windows or a depreciated value of the window.
    The answer is another question: How much of the likely rotted out framing damage is that alarm installer responsible for?

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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    The drain plane is still in place. Once the holes are silicone there will no longer be a problem with the windows. To suggest that everyone of them needs to be replaced is insane and a costly mess no matter who may be paying for it. I believe it is totally unnecessary. What would make the window manufacturer think that the holes could not be plugged/sealed. If there were sensors in all the holes they would be siliconed in place as well ..... so?
    I agree with you Ted. But the first thing I would ask is where and why is there a drain pan the side of a window? I always thought the drain pan was at the bottom. The sides are usually an aluminum extrusion that allows the sash to go up and down easily, drain pan at the bottom and away from the area in question. Where is the water getting into the frame so to allow this to be a drain. As for the company rep. I would have issues with his experience in this situation. Holes are usually drilled into the side to allow a switch with a flapper to allow the window to be moved up or down to a point to allow ventilation without setting off the alarm. Slide the window past that point and off goes the alarm. Some installations will use switches with magnets in two locations, to allow the sash to be placed in an open position to allow the alarm on, again without setting it off. As you said, they should have placed sealed covers over the holes the same color as the sash and been done with it.


  19. #19
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    Smile Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Janice Gross View Post
    I read this post as I ws trying to investigate a fix for some leaking windows. We bought our home in December 2008. Home built in 2001. Some (not all) windows leaking from top during heavy, wind driven rains. We have seen in one case the water dripping down the alarm wire in exposed area in unfinished part of basement. Had the alarm company out since water leaked into alrm panel and shorted out system (alarms installed when home new) and he sealed the contact in the window but it still leaks. I have read the threads from 2008 also. What are some solutions?
    1-Do all the leaking windows need to be replaced?
    2-Can the windows be repaired by caulking both ends of the alarm hole? That would require ripping out dry wall to access "bottom" of hole. More costly than new windows?
    3-Not all leaking windows have alarm contact in sill. Some have contacts on side of windows inside. Our fear is how did the alarm installer drill to hide these wires?
    4- Can the windows be repaired by replacing the breached sill area only?
    5- Is the alarm company still liable?

    Any one with some suggesstions?
    Hire a third party inspector who has no dog in the fight. That is, he does not also replace or repair leaking windows. A general Real Estate Inspector should do fine. Ask several Real Estate agents in your area who they would use to inspect their own house.

    It is possible that the windows were not properly flashed at construction. The alarm holes may be a red herring, so don't assume they are responsible. Remove the thought of liability and replace it with finding and repairing the cause.

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Yep! They put in motion sensors and glass breakage detectors instead of contacts. They even drilled the windows on the 3rd floor that is a good 40' off the ground!
    I'm thinking Alien Abduction prevention.

    Most of the alarm people will (suposed to) drill on the side, toward the bottom of the window for the sensors.

    Scott, Nice catch on your part.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post

    Something tells me that the profit has gone out the window on this alarm job!
    While unfortunate, it does appear the alarm company may have violated the terms of the warranty from Jeld-Wen windows. Depending on what state you are from, the statute of limitations for going after the alarm company could be anywhere from two years to six years from the moment the damage was noticed. If it was done ten years ago, the homeowners would have a dickens of a time explaining they never knew. Ummmm, clearly the windows have failed/are failing, and they need to be replaced. Homeowners' insurance might cover some of the damage. I'd check.


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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Morrison View Post
    Most of the alarm people will (suposed to) drill on the side, toward the bottom of the window for the sensors.
    Supposed to?
    Why is that?


    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Turner View Post
    ... it does appear the alarm company may have violated the terms of the warranty from Jeld-Wen windows.
    Can you show /tell me how you know it was the alarm company ?


    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Turner View Post
    Depending on what state you are from, the statute of limitations for going after the alarm company could be anywhere from two years to six years from the moment the damage was noticed.
    Same question as above

    Last edited by Rick Cantrell; 08-13-2012 at 01:14 PM.
    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Supposed to?
    Why is that?
    Because you need to put the magnetic contacts close to the bottom of the window (window opens a few inches alarm goes off). Putting them at the side will not allow moisture intrusion, like if you put it at the bottom. This is true for the hidden type not the flush mounted little square boxes you see mounted on the inside of windows. It is a cleaner mount. No wires showing.

    Sorry can't multi quote for some reason.


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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Morrison View Post
    Because you need to put the magnetic contacts close to the bottom of the window (window opens a few inches alarm goes off). Putting them at the side will not allow moisture intrusion, like if you put it at the bottom. This is true for the hidden type not the flush mounted little square boxes you see mounted on the inside of windows. It is a cleaner mount. No wires showing.

    Sorry can't multi quote for some reason.
    Right on Larry!!

    It appears that the alarm installer is the scapegoat here. The window rep. should have stayed at home for what help he contributed to the issue (outside of seeing $$$ in replacement windows).

    There should be no water at the sides of the window frame. Period. The origional installation of the windows needs to be checked, and then the Window rep should be brought in if it appears that the installation was flawed from the get go. Then the finger pointing will begin while the alarm installer stays at the sidelines.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Switches on the side of a window will be surface mounted, while switches for the sill can be recessed or surface mounted.

    When switches are installed along the side,( instead of through the sill).
    The switch does not need to be near the bottom. It can be anywhere along the side as long as it's not above the lower sash.

    It's easier to install surface mounted switches on the side than to install recessed (aka hidden, concealed) switches in the sill.
    The reason switches are installed through the sill is because people do not want to see the switch or wires.

    In Scott's original photos (post #1) it shows two holes per window.
    Scott said every window had two holes. But, to switch a window there only needs to be one hole. Also If the holes were for an alarm system there would be an alarm wire (which I do not see). For these reasons I do not think those holes were for an alarm system.
    Some fault the alarm company (or installer), but nobody really knows who or why the holes were drilled.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Goeken View Post
    It appears that the alarm installer is the scapegoat here.
    That is what I have been saying.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    [quote=Jim Luttrall;205316]First, not all windows prohibit drilling holes in the bottom, only vinyl frame with double channel.


    Sorry Jim that is so not correct! Example: aluminum frame , SH, IG. First pic during tear off, second pic during ASTM testing.

    Windows will leak if they are compromised....period

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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    [quote=Shawn Rowe;205432]
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    First, not all windows prohibit drilling holes in the bottom, only vinyl frame with double channel.


    Sorry Jim that is so not correct! Example: aluminum frame , SH, IG. First pic during tear off, second pic during ASTM testing.

    Windows will leak if they are compromised....period
    Show me an aluminum window manufacturer that specifically prohibits drilling a sensor hole.
    The vinyl windows we are talking about here usually label each and every window to NOT drill in the bottom.
    On aluminum it is quite possible and acceptable to put sensors in and seal the single piece of metal. It is quite impossible to seal the inner pan on the vinyl frame. Notice I said possible and acceptable, not best practice.

    Jim Luttrall
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    The real question is. How would you state it in your report? I'm trying to make a mental note. Do you just state the manufacture look at it or have a General Contrator look at it. I know I'm not specific here.


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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Quote Originally Posted by David Watson View Post
    The real question is. How would you state it in your report? I'm trying to make a mental note. Do you just state the manufacture look at it or have a General Contrator look at it. I know I'm not specific here.
    Based upon the comments and information in this thread, I would recommend the GC. He has the ability to actually remove, if necessary, and inspect the window(s) to determine the actual cause of the water intrusion.

    You should state that an intrusive inspection of the windows should be conducted by a General Conteractor to determine the cause of the water intrusion.


  31. #31
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    [QUOTE=Jim Luttrall;205437]
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Rowe View Post

    Show me an aluminum window manufacturer that specifically prohibits drilling a sensor hole..
    Really?


  32. #32
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Scott,
    Was the seller/owner that gave the explanation for the holes that the alarm installer drilled the holes?

    It may be that the alarm installer did drill the holes, BUT at the owners request. Or the owner just does not want to admit he did it and screwed up.
    Why you ask.

    Rethinking why would you drill holes on both sides of the bottom sill of all windows and why would drill for the third floor. Also notice the recessed channel that the sash sits into.

    Answer:
    Holes were not drilled for alarm system they were drilled to allow water to drain. The replacement windows typically with the bottom channel that the sash reassesses into has a design that allows water to drain out of the channel where it meets the side jam. Water drains into a cavity/chamber that has weep holes to the exterior. Else the channel would fill with water and possibly spill into the interior or just sit there.

    Why drill the holes and not unclog the dirt from the jam edge. Maybe the owner was tired of trying to clean the drain gap. Owner did not know that it should drain at the edge. Maybe just a quick easy solution to ponding water.

    The holes that go through the bottom of the extrusion were an accident and not hard to do when drilling into a cavity.

    Just another possible scenario to the story. But then again a seller/owner would never lie to someone inspecting a home. Or possibly only a half truth in that holes were drilled by alarm installer but not in conjunction with alarm installation.


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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    [quote=Shawn Rowe;205446]
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post

    Really?
    Really.

    Jim Luttrall
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  34. #34
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    [quote=Jim Luttrall;205449]
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Rowe View Post
    Really.
    General Aluminum window install attached

    Attached Files Attached Files

  35. #35
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Scott,
    Was the seller/owner that gave the explanation for the holes that the alarm installer drilled the holes?

    It may be that the alarm installer did drill the holes, BUT at the owners request. Or the owner just does not want to admit he did it and screwed up.
    Why you ask.

    Rethinking why would you drill holes on both sides of the bottom sill of all windows and why would drill for the third floor. Also notice the recessed channel that the sash sits into.

    Answer:
    Holes were not drilled for alarm system they were drilled to allow water to drain. The replacement windows typically with the bottom channel that the sash reassesses into has a design that allows water to drain out of the channel where it meets the side jam. Water drains into a cavity/chamber that has weep holes to the exterior. Else the channel would fill with water and possibly spill into the interior or just sit there.

    Why drill the holes and not unclog the dirt from the jam edge. Maybe the owner was tired of trying to clean the drain gap. Owner did not know that it should drain at the edge. Maybe just a quick easy solution to ponding water.

    The holes that go through the bottom of the extrusion were an accident and not hard to do when drilling into a cavity.

    Just another possible scenario to the story. But then again a seller/owner would never lie to someone inspecting a home. Or possibly only a half truth in that holes were drilled by alarm installer but not in conjunction with alarm installation.
    You're asking me to recall over a year ago and this is not easy for a person of my advanced youth!

    As I recall this was a model home that had never been lived in.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Sorry I was in a time warp from an alternative universe. Have to remember to look at the date.


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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    [quote=Shawn Rowe;205468]
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post

    General Aluminum window install attached
    I stand corrected.
    What brand is this, GA (General Aluminum?) is one I am not familiar with.

    Jim Luttrall
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    Plano, Texas

  38. #38
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    [QUOTE=Jim Luttrall;205485]
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Rowe View Post
    I stand corrected.
    What brand is this, GA (General Aluminum?) is one I am not familiar with.
    Manufactured in Texas. Outside of Dallas. Since 1954 from what I understand .


  39. #39
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    I did some consulting on a mold issue under some windows. Same thing there. In my case the alarm buttons were installed and sealed on top. The installer had penetrated the inner drain channel and water was running into the wall cavity below following the alarm wires. Ergo; the Mold. The fix was innovative. They just drilled tow smaller holes in the top layer only on each side of the button. Then they hydrauliced silicone sealant in one hole until it came out the other filling and sealing the leakage. Not the best fix but one the homeowner could afford.

    Apparently some alarm installers thing this is an Ok installation technique. This is one of the things I look for when I am doing my window inspections.


  40. #40
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    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Thanks for all of the information. My first thought was improperly installed flashing. We had the windows caulked professionally and caulked any tiny crack or fissure in the stone facing of the house. The window (west facing) where we can follow the water along the alarm wire to the basement had the top switch hole caulked but, of course, the "bottom" was not so water still getting in.
    We tried putting expandable foam around the switch hole (pulling the wire up) into the windows that leaked the worse (southerly) but that did not help. These windows leak from the top with wind-driven southerly storms; however, the windows above do not have alarm switchs in the sill but on the side. Combination of problems with flashing and alarm switches? If flashing, would window replacement help or remove windows, fix flashing and re-install windows? Can flashing be fixed by pulling windows? Most likely we need to pull stone from around windows, right? I don't want to just replace windows and still have leaks.


  41. #41
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Florida
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    552

    Default Re: The alarm installer and 48 windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Mobley View Post
    I did some consulting on a mold issue under some windows. Same thing there. In my case the alarm buttons were installed and sealed on top. The installer had penetrated the inner drain channel and water was running into the wall cavity below following the alarm wires. Ergo; the Mold. The fix was innovative. They just drilled tow smaller holes in the top layer only on each side of the button. Then they hydrauliced silicone sealant in one hole until it came out the other filling and sealing the leakage. Not the best fix but one the homeowner could afford.

    Apparently some alarm installers thing this is an Ok installation technique. This is one of the things I look for when I am doing my window inspections.
    Me thinks that we are on a tangent here. The original post and photos indicated the holes were on the sides. I think that you are talking about the bottom (sill). Different issue.

    The instructions someone has provided, assuming they are for this type of window, do NOT say that holes cannot be drilled on the sides, only the bottom.

    But they do go into great detail on how to seal the window to prevent water intrusion. It appears that this may not been followed in this installation.

    As we have later found out---this was a model home. They are lucky that the windows are even staying in the walls. From my experience, the builder rushes the construction of the models so they can beginning selling. Some things may look good, but aren't. For example, I think in Florida they have the best rock and taping guys in the country (Sorry Jerry).

    Was up in the ceiling over a second floor open entrance of a model home and walking beams, holding on available studs. Grabbed one for support and it came loose! Needless to say there was a lot of hand swishing finding another support. Checked my pants later too.


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